Epidemiology of scalds in vulnerable groups in New South Wales, Australia, 1998/1999 to 2002/2003

J Burn Care Rehabil. 2005 Jul-Aug;26(4):320-6. doi: 10.1097/01.bcr.0000170501.03520.ac.


In this study, the recently introduced International Classification of Disease, 10th revision, code for hot tap water scalds was used to examine the epidemiology of these cases and other scalds injuries in children younger than 5 years of age and adults aged 65 years and older. Although the trunk was the most common area in which scalds occurred, young children were more likely to sustain head and neck scalds (15%, 95% confidence interval 10.8-18.3) because of hot tap water than older people (2%, 95% confidence interval 0.2-4.4). Hospital separation rates for hot water scalds decreased significantly during the study period in both boys (chi(2) = 15.6, df = 1, P < .001) and girls (chi(2) = 5.6, df = 1, P < .001) who were younger than 5 years of age, which might be attributable to the introduction of new standards regulating the provision of hot tap water to various buildings. The severity of scalds cases did not seem to be correlated with the length of hospital stay, which remained unchanged in both age groups.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Home / statistics & numerical data
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Burns / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New South Wales / epidemiology
  • Sex Distribution
  • Survival Analysis
  • Water


  • Water